by Jeared Grellet
|Amedeo Tessitori signed off as the top performer for Italy once more, leading the Azzurrini with 28 points and 4 rebounds|
Turning Point: There was never a turning point in this one-sided affair as Italy led from start to finish.
Game Hero: Amedeo Tessitori. The forward already had 16 points by the end of the opening frame, going on to finish with 28.
Stats Don't Lie: Italy shot at 50% from the field whilst Bulgaria shot at 39%
Italy have comfortably completed the Samsung U18 European Championship with a win, defeating Bulgaria 84-65 to finish the tournament in seventh position.
Bulgaria have punched above their weight for the past two weeks, overachieving even by their own standards, but had little left in their tanks for the final game of their campaign.
Amedeo Tessitori started the Italian onslaught from the opening whistle, amassing 16 points on five-for-five shooting from the field in the first quarter, as the Azzurrini ran out to a 25-13 lead.
Tessitori's influence remained in the second quarter but with the game already looking secure, Andrea Capobianco started to look to his bench for bigger minutes, assuring everyone got a run in the final game of the tournament. The changes failed to affect Italy's momentum and at the half the lead was out to 20 points, 45-25.
Italy continued shooting at 50% from the field through the third quarter but Kris Minkov was assuring that the lead did not continue to grow at the same rate as it had in the first half, picking up nine third-quarter points, only allowing Italy to stretch their lead by another four points.
The Italian defence was understandably a little more lax in the final frame and Bulgaria were allowed to bring the deficit back to 19 points as Anton Dikov entered the game from the bench to pick up 10 final-quarter points.
Tessitori had done his dash for the game and did not feature in the final quarter, ending with 28 points and four rebounds in a little over 22 minutes playing time. Mirco Turel added 12 points from the bench, with eight other players getting onto the scoresheet.
Minkov finished with 15 points and Dikov was the only other Bulgarian to make double figures with 10 points. However, the remaining 10 players managed to contribute to the scoresheet.